Employee representatives are seeking a 4.12 percent increase in the minimum wages as of July 1. That would be on top of the 3.788 percent increase that took effect Jan. 1.
Negotiations began Monday afternoon. The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados said that the request includes an estimated 3.75 percent accumulated inflation as of May.
The public employees organization expects a better reception from the government of Luis Guillermo Solís than it received from prior administrations.
Nearly 1.3 million employees are in the private sector, and many work for the minimum wage.
The wages are specified as daily for some categories. Others are monthly wages. There are changes every six months.
When negotiations are complete, the Ministerio de Trabajo will publish a list of salaries by job title.
Employers, of course, will try to push for a smaller increase. They realize that the salary increase is just the first step. For every dollar earned by an employee, the employer also has to pay a bit more than 26 percent to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social and more to an insurance provider for workman’s comp. All are based on the gross salary.
Even if negotiations continue past July 1, the employers will have to eventually compensate the workers as of that date.